What the Shed Looks At

Monday, November 29, 2010

Wentworth is gone!

RIP Leslie Nielsen - 2/11/1926-11/28/2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

After an hour long comcast outage I figured I would put something up about the cablegate release.

Wikileaks has apparently only released 219 of the 250000+ cables so this will be ongoing.

Wikileaks explanation of cable structure

Understanding cables
Every cable message consists of three parts:
  • The top box shows each cables unique reference number, when and by whom it originally was sent, and what its initial classification was.
  • The middle box contains the header information that is associated with the cable. It includes information about the receiver(s) as well as a general subject.
  • The bottom box presents the body of the cable. The opening can contain a more specific subject, references to other cables (browse by origin to find them) or additional comment. This is followed by the main contents of the cable: a summary, a collection of specific topics and a comment section.
To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.

Here is a pdf file from state.gov detailing acronyms and oft used terms you may be unfamiliar with. Just copy the term or acronym and paste it into search of the pdf as the file 115 pages long.

So now for some cables

Finally, Qadhafi relies heavily on his long-time  Ukrainian nurse, Galyna Kolotnytska, who has been described as a  ”voluptuous blonde.” Of the rumored staff of four Ukrainian  nurses that cater to the Leader’s health and well-being, XXXXXXXXXXX emphasized to multiple Emboffs that Qadhafi  cannot travel without Kolotnytska, as she alone “knows his  routine.” When Kolotnytska’s late visa application resulted in  her Security Advisory Opinion being received on the day  Qadhafi’s party planned to travel to the U.S., the Libyan  Government sent a private jet to ferry her from Libya to  Portugal to meet up with the Leader during his rest-stop. Some  embassy contacts have claimed that Qadhafi and the 38 year-old  Kolotnytska have a romantic relationship. While he did not  comment on such rumors, a Ukrainian political officer recently  confirmed that the Ukrainian nurses “travel everywhere with the  Leader.” 
Embassy Berlin strongly recommends that the Washington Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP) and data privacy experts currently scheduled to visit Brussels next week also visit Berlin to discuss TFTP and U.S. data privacy policy with German officials. Germany is critical to the debate on data protection issues within the EU and we need to engage German government interlocutors, parliamentarians and opinion makers. The exaggerated data privacy views of the current minority governing partner, the Free Democratic Party (FDP), have contributed to a domestic discussion that distorts U.S. policy and is negatively-influencing the European debate. Embassy believes we will be most successful if we address German data privacy concerns in a comprehensive way, including various information sharing programs such as HSPD-6, TFTP, and Passenger Name Records.
For context: TFPT  Maybe this has something to do with how we are adopting china's standards on the internet.  
 In our view, none of the above arguments has any
substantive validity under the Honduran constitution. Some
are outright false. Others are mere supposition or ex-post
rationalizations of a patently illegal act.

-- the military had no authority to remove Zelaya from the

-- Congress has no constitutional authority to remove a
Honduran president;

-- Congress and the judiciary removed Zelaya on the basis
of a hasty, ad-hoc, extralegal, secret, 48-hour process;

-- the purported "resignation" letter was a fabrication and
was not even the basis for Congress's action of June 28;

-- Zelaya's arrest and forced removal from the country
violated multiple constitutional guarantees, including the
prohibition on expatriation, presumption of innocence and
right to due process.
So that means that even though the state department is touting the foreign investment oppurtunities in Honduras, they recognize the illegality of the Honduran coup.
¶1. (S/NF) A Turkmen customs official told an Embassy LES on February 13 that an Iranian Embassy diplomatic container with AK-47's, sniper rifles and ammunition hidden in it had been discovered one week earlier at the Serdar Uli (Gaudan) customs point in Ashgabat, where vehicles and containers arriving from or bound for Iran are inspected. The weapons were reportedly hidden underneath two Turkmen carpets that the Iranian Embassy was shipping to Iran.

¶2. (S/NF) The LES went to the Ashgabat Customs Point (a different location) to inquire about an Embassy pouch shipment arriving by truck, and an issue arose about opening the Embassy's container for inspection. The customs official, who is a close friend of LES, then brought up the Iranian container incident. He said that a local shipping employee of the Iranian Embassy had been present when another official, acting on a "hunch that something was not right," opened the Iranian Embassy container. The customs official told LES that the official who discovered the cache was honored for his actions and received a promotion.

¶3. (S/NF) COMMENT: Turkmenistan imposes stringent controls on the importation of any type of firearm, and Chiefs of Missions' security detail are all unarmed. Even assuming that the weapons in question were intended for the Iranian Embassy's internal security, this would not explain the presence of offensive weapons such as sniper rifles, in the cache. The Embassy has no official confirmation about the incident, which was, we note, relayed second-hand to our LES. END COMMENT.
Afghans don't get democracy.    (C) In answer to a question from the RoCK and the SCR 
about the credibility of the elections, A[hmad]W[ali]K[arzai] said democracy
was new for Afghanistan, and that people in the region did
not understand the point of having one election, let alone
two. "The people do not like change," he said. "They think,
the President is alive, and everything is fine. Why have an
Karzai's paranoia is justified.    
¶11. (S//Rel NATO, ISAF) AWK was eager to engage and rarely 
stopped talking in the two hour meeting. While he presented
himself as a partner to the United States and is eager to be
seen as helping the coalition, he also demonstrated that he
will dissemble when it suits his needs. He appears not to
understand the level of our knowledge of his activities, and
that the coalition views many of his activities as malign,
particularly relating to his influence over the police. We
will need to monitor his activity closely, and deliver a
recurring, transparent message to him of where are redlines
are and what we expect of him in the months ahead.

A Personal Appeal


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wikileaks Drinking Game


Whistleblower website WikiLeaks is set to release some three million documents online, and some of these could potentially damage the US relations with many countries, including Britain and India, according to reports on Saturday. It is not known what the documents are about, or whether India ismentioned. But State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said, "We have reached out to India to warn them about a possible release of documents."

"We do not know precisely what WikiLeaks has or what it plans to do. We have made our position clear. These documents should not be released," Crowley said.

But in London the Daily Mail reported that among the documents about to be released are secret papers related to the US assessments of then British premier Gordon Brown's personality and his prospects of winning the general election.

Anticipating damages, British Prime Minister David Cameron was warned on Friday night by the US that secrets of the "special relationship" are about to be laid bare, the Daily Mail said.


Canada has been informed by the United States of the potential leak of sensitive diplomatic correspondence by the Wikileaks website, a foreign ministry spokeswoman confirmed Friday.

"We have learned about this potential leak through a variety of sources," Melissa Lantsman told AFP, adding that US ambassador David Jacobson had telephoned Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon about the matter


The WikiLeaks is expected to put 94 documents about Pakistan on its website this weekend, diplomatic sources told Dawn.

The documents mainly contain telegrams sent by the US Embassy in Islamabad to the State Department in Washington.

Some of these papers relate to US observations about Pakistan’s policy towards Afghanistan, the debate within Pakistan on the war against terror, Islamabad’s cooperation with Washington and other military and intelligence matters.

Some documents also contain US reservations about Pakistan’s nuclear programme.

The sources said that changes in the US communication system allowed an anti-war activist access to more than 400,000 secret documents who handed them over to the whistleblower website.

US officials have warned that Afghanistan, China, Russia, Central Asian Republics, Canada, Britain, France, Turkey and Nato will all be affected by this unprecedented leak.


Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has reached out to several countries about the expected release of classified State Department cables by the WikiLeaks website.

Clinton reached out to leaders in Germany, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Britain, France and Afghanistan, spokesman P.J. Crowley said in a tweet Friday evening.

Separately, Crowley confirmed that Clinton spoke Friday by phone with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi about the release.


Washington has warned its ally Israel of potential embarrassment from the expected release of US diplomatic cables on whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, an Israeli newspaper said on Thursday.

A senior Israeli official, quoted in Haaretz, said it has been informed that WikiLeaks plans to release hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables, some of which could include confidential reports from the US embassy in Tel Aviv.

"The Americans said they view the leak very seriously," he told the paper, on condition of anonymity.

"They don't know when they will be released on the Internet and what exactly they say, but they didn't want us to read about it in the newspapers," the Israeli official said.


New files about to be dumped onto the Internet by WikiLeaks contain embarrassing diplomatic cables that could harm Moscow's relations with Washington, the Kommersant newspaper reported on Friday.

The confidential cables contain general assessments of the political situation in Russia and “unflattering characteristics” of Russian leaders, the respected business daily reported citing a top source at the whistleblowing website.

“The documents include recordings of US diplomats' conversations with Russian politicians, assessments of Russia's most notable events, and analyses of what is happening in the country and in its domestic and foreign politics,” the newspaper wrote.

So I propose we get together and read through the cables and every time we find something that will piss off an ally of America or about how we are oppressing populations in the third world for American hegemony we take a drink. I assume we will die about a day or two in. What do you think?

"Ship Of Fools" by Dr. Theodore Kaczynski

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Best Things In Life are Free

Here is the reality of higher education.

The Worlds Most Action Packed Movie


I've seen this guy a lot, but for some reason I have never posted his stuff on the blog. Anyway, check out this guy's Youtube channel.

Matthew Taylor: Brain research with respect to politics

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Follow-up to James's post. Read 'Beard on Beard' first.

Beard on Beard

Seriously, go to this guys user page. He has 31 episodes of this up and it's fucking hilarious.

Monday, November 15, 2010


I Love Lucy is often regarded as the most beloved sitcom ever. Star Trek is often regarded as the most beloved sci-fi television show ever.

What do they have in common? Lucille Ball.

The wacky red head comedian along with Cuban born husband Desi Arnaz not only gave us a ground breaking comedy classic, but with their studio Desilu brought to TV audiences the science fiction masterpiece Star Trek. If Gene Roddenberry was its loving father, Lucy was its nurturing, entertainment savvy mother.

It was 1964. Seven years earlier, America had said goodbye to the Ricardos as I Love Lucy ended. Through careful business dealings, Desi and Lucy had amassed an enormous fortune and Desilu, their studio created in 1951 produced everything from sitcoms to spy shows. Gene Roddenberry, a former LA police officer turned screenwriter was pitching a new television series about a galaxy traveling starship or as he described it "wagon train to the stars."

Some at Desilu balked at Roddenberry's sci-fi concept, thinking it was childish fare or mere escapist action oriented science fiction like Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers. While Roddenberry may have gained inspiration from those two pioneering sci-fi properties, he invested thoughtfulness, intellectual stimulation and philosophy into Star Trek that caught the attention of Lucille Ball. She both liked Gene Roddenberry and felt his idea had huge potential. After rejecting the pilot, The Cageas being "too cerebral" - it's said Lucy stood firmly behind the show, prompting NBC to order a second pilot - something exceedingly rare in the television business.

Star Trek premiered on NBC in 1966. After three seasons, the network canceled the show citing dismal ratings. Shortly thereafter, executives realized the most valuable audience segment - the favored demographic of males 18-49 were primary viewers. This is advertising gold. If NBC had known this fact before cancellation, Star Trek may have had additional seasons.
In syndication, Star Trek saw new life and lived long and prospered. Fans who missed Captain Kirk's adventures loved the reruns, while new generations discovered it. The rest is history, as in television, film and book publishing history. It spun off four additional programs and at this count ten feature films with an eleventh being produced and directed by JJ Abrams and scheduled for release in December 2008.

Evidently Lucy not only knew funny, she knew great science fiction too.
So Lucille Ball is the reason we have Star Trek. Well, I now unveil a deeply buried piece of nerd gold.

Song Parodies -> Lucy's In Production Of Star Trek

Original Song Title:

"Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds"

Original Performer:

The Beatles

Parody Song Title:

"Lucy's In Production Of Star Trek"

Parody Written by:

Steve Kalafut

This is the second, and hopefully last, time I'll step on Johnny D's concept album. I couldn't resist this because the original Star Trek involved a real-live Lucy, as in Lucille Ball, co-owner of the studio which first produced the series. NBC would eventually run the show, but rejected its pilot episode, called "The Cage". Mr. Roddenberry then had to scrap all the original characters, except one, and would base his new Captain on a certain American president.
Picture yourself with a new TV pilot
With starships which travel and warp through the skies
Everyone tells you, you must rearrange things
Before they will give it a try

None of your characters they let you keep
But for one with pointy ears
Look for the woman with bright orange hair and she's here

Lucy's in production of Star Trek
Lucy's in production of Star Trek
Lucy's in production of Star Trek, aaaah

Follow their orders to find a new Captain
With Kennedy's daring to do what he'll do
None of the studios wanted your program
Except for one named Desilu

Afterwards Star Trek is on for three years
Space is the final frontier
Sit on the bridge, have the helmsman engage and you're gone

Lucy's in production of Star Trek
Lucy's in production of Star Trek
Lucy's in production of Star Trek, aaaah

Picture your show in rerun syndication
The Next Generation and movies compare
Suddenly someone stands in the transporter
The woman with bright orange hair

Lucy's in production of Star Trek
Lucy's in production of Star Trek
Lucy's in production of Star Trek, aaaah

Lucy's in production of Star Trek
Lucy's in production of Star Trek
Lucy's in production of Star Trek, aaaah

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Take 2

Hopefully this one still works when you get to it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bill Maher hits it on the head.

He said it much better than I could (or Mark Ames for that matter) but this is pretty much my problem with the rally for sanity.

Monday, November 1, 2010


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